tv [untitled] November 7, 2011 5:00pm-5:30pm PST
i think one question that is important to ask is how do leaders prepare themselves for a crisis situation, and i think what you heard here this morning is that whether or not you are prepared is one question, but you should assume that you are going to have to deal with situations in time-critical crisis response scenarios. next slide, please. i am here today to represent the u.s. pacific fleet, a fleet that has about 120,000 people, 180 ships, two dozen aircraft, 44 submarines, six carrier strikers, and we will talk about how we have organized our selves to respond to the crisis in japan. in the course of the previous two years of this assignment, we
have been involved in a six humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. super typhoons in the philippines, vietnam, taiwan. earthquakes in samoa, christchurch, new zealand, chile, operation in japan. on average, what we are seeing in the ring of fire is about every six to eight weeks, a calamity, a natural disaster. in the case of operation tomodache, the reference point that i it would be very helpful for those who want to study this is to go back and look at what nova and the public broadcasting service has done in terms of collecting now scientific measurable data, and one of the points that comes out in that 60-minute documentary is that in terms of instrumentation,
scientists now know exactly what happened, where it happened. and then, in your case study sort of approach, you can now test the earthquake response plan that you have with the sort of scenarios and the variables that we were having to contend with in this crisis. the account weren't signs of the fleet were represented by the pictures, and typically we focus on the right-hand side of the charge, but what is embedded inside this group is an organization that has learned how to sustain itself at sewa for extended time spans. embedded in that is an understanding of how to work logistics, and understanding to how to respond to lift requirements, and understanding of command and control. the plea today -- the fleet
today has people who have strong technical competence in being able to respond and answer those sorts of questions. the fleet today is more mature and more seasoned because of the forward-deployed in nature of our operations. and we can apply that in the lessons that we have learned, and i think what you'll recognize is a very adaptable force. so this is what japan looked like before 2:00 p.m. on march 11, 2011. what you see at the top of the chart is the question the dai- ichi power plant -- the fukushima power plant. on the left-hand side is sendai airport. on the other side, any japan.
feet, the eurasian plate and the pacific plate came in contact with each other. pressures had been building up since the 17th century. and in the release of that energy displaced a very large volume of water, which resulted in a a 60 meter wave traveling at the speed of an airplane. 2:45 in the afternoon, kids were in school. parents were at work. immediately be had a humanitarian situation where families were displaced. this was a 9.1 magnitude earthquake that change to the tilt of the earth's axis. for those that were in tokyo at the time, they experience, as you would expect, a severe
shock. the buildings held up. the architecture and engineering held in place. there were provisions in place for tsunami. of what no one expected in the course of this disaster was the coastline to drop. when the coast line dropped more than 1 meter, it changed the title characteristics of the wave. the wave reached 6.5 miles inland. almost like an egg beater. when it reached inland, it grabbed everything that it could and drag it out to sea. it resulted in this incoherent picture of ships on top of buildings, buildings and out at sea, and over 1 million families left without power. so, now we are looking at pictures of a destructive scale
never before witnessed. notice how we have captured this slide here. this is what we know. the lesson that we pass along is that it is important to understand what we do not know. we are looking at the water as it comes into the power plant. as that wave hits, fukushima loses its primary, secondary, and tertiary power supply for the reactors. and there are six of them at fukushima. four were in operation. it is this series of cascading casualties that now first responders felt behind it is the course of the events with it the
aftershock that continue to challenge the engineers who were attempting to restart water circulation systems to keep the power plants under control. by the time the joint support force arrived from honolulu, 90 people from my headquarters, are arriving in support of the japanese self-defense force, we had explosions because of hydrogen buildup in the individual reactors. we had buildings that had collapsed. we had the fukushima 50. they were dedicated, loyal engineers and workers at the plan -- plant, attempting to keep the temperatures and conditions under control. it was a disaster that all of our national leadership said we would throw everything we have got at it. next slide.
it is important to understand of what we did not know. we did not know the full extent of the damage. we did not know the full impact of the tsunami. there were entire population centers affected by this. in many of these prefectures that we went to, one of the first things we said was that there was a complete loss of the mayor's office. the complete loss of the municipal leadership installations and buildings. people were having to land on their feet, figuring out where they go. in addition to the isolated communities, we needed to assess the infrastructure that we had in place. looming in the background was the nuclear crisis. this is where information became critically important.
everyone was aware that their work risks, but they did not know what they were. the important thing was that we were available to help japan in any way that we possibly could. with technical expertise, with equipment. the challenge becomes, where do you begin? the japanese word for the operation is friend. what you are looking at here is how we presented forces and ourselves as a joint work force. as the governor talked about, it is very important to have someone in charge. i very strongly agree with that. he highlighted the role that the military must play. as a joint force, we worked with ngo's, the government of japan
ministries, and our counterparts in the self-defense force. it was unity of effort, not necessarily unity of command. that was the theme for the command and control architecture that resonated so strongly with the people of japan. the military response offers the rapid capability to fill in the gaps. there are military organizational methods that are very adaptable. what you are looking at here is how we divided up the operation. the mission. the first was a focus on humanitarian assistance. the other was a focus on consequence management. critically important in this discussion was the identification of the lead federal agency for us.
it was u.s. aid. what they provided for us was an avenue for funding. for direct contact with the government of japan. direct contact with the u.s. embassy. what that does, it helps to establish policy and guidance. for those who are looking at ways to now think of these sorts of operations as case studies in which you can test your ideas with the state of california and how you would respond, i would strongly endorsed that you look at policy and guidance. that is something that cannot be assumed away. as you go from the local level to the municipal level, then the state level, and where you plug in with the federal government, this for assumption that we are on the same page and working off the same set of standards is
something on which i reach out. to the extent that we were dealing with a contaminated, radiological environment, it was important to have a nuclear regulatory commission. it plugged into the washington, dc environment. the technical expertise that resided in the department of energy. working closely with the government of japan and the power co. in tokyo. what this brings to us now, with an understanding of the role that we need to play, it is an identification of whether there are gaps in the role that was needed. how to apply the military instrument is important for
military leaders. we can help to optimize the approach the two are trying to take. for us, there was this sense that we were behind. i would suggest that, in the case of a crisis that continues and insurers for the length of time that this did, the roles that we were trying to play was how to anticipate the next problem. feedbac[feedback] the way that this played out, there was contamination in the atmosphere, followed by contamination of the food supply. then there was the water that was running into the ocean. so, our discussions, both with the nrc and the government of japan, how do we understand and characterized assistance to
develop a common operating picture for understanding. how do we talk about this? what messages do we give to the population? the challenge was that we had different levels of understanding of these technical issues. that there was disagreement within the technical community in terms of exposure and risk. the reason there were differences of opinion, there were different standards. the world health organization has a standard. the center for disease control has a standard. again, as you tabletop this, it is important to think through, what will you tell the population? what is the basis for that? an empirical understanding of the issues and being honest about what you know and do not know is critically important. we have identified some of the key questions option that we wanted answered in the course of
our mission. these were critical to our ability to make decisions and recommendations for policymakers. so, what you see here, item number one, we needed an understanding of how the engineers on site were dealing with the crisis. many different strategies and approaches in terms of trying to contain a radiological problem. we have the complexity of the radiological problem while, underneath, we have humanitarian assistance disaster. we had our marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen, with brooms, cleaning up and keeping track of their individual exposure while at the same time offering humanitarian assistance.
we have obligations to our own people, as well as those we are trying to assist. risk-management becomes critically important and cannot be assumed a wave. any changes to the status, it was important for us to be aware of, so that we could evaluate meteorologist " conditions and the sort of guidance that we give to our own forces, as well as the self-defense forces that we were joined with. any kind of radiation increase, we needed to be aware of it. this is real time information. not something historical that you look back on. so, trying to get to that time- critical sense of urgency about any change to plan status or released in the atmosphere was critically important. any reports of damage or loss to
fukushima, in terms of its power supply, became critically important as we went through a series of aftershocks that number hundreds, then thousands. there was this potential interruption of more power loss to fukushima, which meant potentially more release, critical to our discussions. we absolutely needed to have a good understanding of the needs of the people on the ground. there are about 122,000 homeless that were affected. reports of 25,000 people that lost their lives. as i mentioned before, families displaced. so, let me start with the humanitarian assistance line of operation first and stepped through the steps that we took.
first of all, we level be existing infrastructure that we had. this is a bird's-eye view from thpassenger terminal. in order to have that up and running, we needed to bring people in. these are airmen. these are sailors. these are soldiers. these are marines on the peninsula. sorry, on honshu. the joint support force was a unity operation. we found that if we had a liaison capability, they came to every meeting. there was an arrangement between the nato forces in the gulf war
and the arab forces that were a part of a coalition. within that organization, which resembled more than each, rather than a vertical line, one of the two star generals responsible for the coalition command and control said -- you go to a meeting, you go get your partner. you get your coalition partner and do not have a conversation without that person present. so, for all of our discussions, we had our japanese partners present. without them present, what happens is you plant seeds for dissension within the ranks. unity of effort requires a lot of horizontal communication. it requires breaking down barriers by and organizations that are bureaucratic because their own survival relies on their own success. if you could get beyond some of
the vertical themes that take place in the course of building up other organizations, you would have the opportunity to realize what is possible when very disparate and talented groups come together. so, what you are looking at here, we mobilized the fleet and pushed forces to honshu. the uss ronald reagan, the first effort was to save lives. eventually it would come underneath the plume and protect the radiation in the atmosphere. next slide. this eventually became a hubs and spoke approach to providing support in northeast honshu. as we provide that support, what you are looking is our own way
of working with u.s. aid. these other rapid response teams, developing a picture of who is in need so that we can have a better understanding of situational awareness on the ground and act on that information. it allowed us to address the directed needs of the people of japan. what the people wanted was to return to normal as soon as possible. meaning they wanted to clear the schools. they wanted to address the human needs of the population. which meant showers. it also meant providing use it to help to relieve the tension and the pressure that had built up on people. now, to the consequent
management. while the humanitarian assistance operation is in place, we need to get through an understanding of what goes on. in other words, we needed to build a reactor. we needed to understand what was going on inside of the reactor to anticipate our next move. i think that the value of this conversation is to share with you the kinds of questions that come up in the course of a crisis and how we can answer them. for us, this is to get inside of a boiling water reactor and understand where the key levers are in terms of what affects temperature and pressure. there are four reactors present. they performed as designed when the earthquake hit. in other words, they shut down. what you saw released reflect only 7% of the potential energy that could have come from those
reactors. still, it was substantial enough to cause measurable contamination in the atmosphere. now, we are trying to understand trends over time. but we realized was that the heat coming from the reactor would dissipate. but we needed to stabilize the situation on the ground to allow for that key to dissipate over time. the alternative was to flood the reactor. the concern with that strategy is that although it would put the temperature into a controllable situation sooner, it would provide far more contamination into the environment, which was already at an intolerable level. so, we went digging into understanding what radio isotopes were the ones we were
trying to deal with and how to react. but i am showing you here is downloaded from the next public web site. you are looking at 80 sensors around tokyo. a report on atmospheric levels of cesium and iodine. which is critically important during a crisis. what this means is information. the information in a seat -- event like this is critically important. anyone can go to this web site and download the information. anyone can get these actual readings. they will be published after words. of what this does, it addresses will long-term radiation exposure that people were most concerned about. think of this as a timing
critical issue. people are going to look to leadership and say -- how can i react to this? it is invisible. all that they know is what to tell them. this website was up and running all the time. i found this incredibly useful. i could see data trends over time. in terms of long-term exposure, that was one issue we had to be aware of. the other was lethal dosage. we did not have a gamma issue. we had reports from around fukushima to understand what was going on in terms of lethal dosage. populations wanted to know -- do i need to move? do we need to evacuate? so, we had to get everybody on to the same page of understanding the actual data that was reported.
" we found within the head of community was that simulation predictions are not equal to share. not everyone has the same view of what will happen in a radiological crisis. being able to develop an operating picture was the goal. what you are seeing here now is the actual data of an aerial measuring system. these are sensors in an airplane. it think of mowing the grass in the air. they are looking at the reflection in the ground. that helps us to understand how bad of a problem we have and how to communicate to the self- defense force. they are looking at the same information. it helps us to understand what is going on with the water in the reactors.
modeling and simulation that we have at sea is based on what happens with oil. what happens with oil and a radio isotope are different properties. we come up short when we look at what happens when radioisotopes are introduced to overtime. that is a common operating picture. that is what we developed so that, as the next aftershock came in the next power loss incident took place, in the launch floor that we build with the self-defense force, we were able to work side-by-side.